November 30, 2007

What's That You Say?

My voice is gone again. Completely. Yuck.

This happened to me last year too. That was the first time I had ever completely lost my voice, so it was really weird. I think I figured it out now, though. I have never before had a job where I spoke, loudly, literally the entire time I was working. I never realized how much time I spent talking until I couldn't do it. They put me at the registers today which, strangely enough, in our store requires the least amount of talking, which is to say that you're only talking all the time instead of all the time. Except at least you're not talking over the sound of the stuffers.

There I was holding up little signs that said things like, "Did you give your bear a name at the computers?" and "Do you have any coupons or a Disneyland Annual Pass with you today?" For the most part the guests were very understanding and quite sympathetic. A lot of them left with a "I hope you feel better soon!" I only had one guest who became rather frustrated. With her I gave up the whispering entirely and just resorted to writing things down. I also had at least 4 people try to speak to me in sign language. No, I don't know sign language! I'm sick, not a prodigy! This is a temporary condition!

In other news, Kevin finally gets to take his anger out on our kitchen counter. We are scheduled to replace it tomorrow. We've had the new counters sitting in long boxes on our living room floor for a while now, but we've finally gotten some time to install them. Grandpa came over to measure everything and take the lay of the land, and then decided to just take the counters back home to his shop (they're wood butcher block) to cut them and whatnot instead of trying to do it on the fly here. I'm okay with that. The problem is that it's now raining and his truck doesn't have a cab, so I'm not sure if he's going to be able to bring them back over any time soon.

In the meanwhile, we're bashing, which is the easiest way to get this horrid tile off of the counter. I am not in the least bit sorry to see it go, frankly. We're also getting a fancy new sink and most importantly, a fancy new dishwasher that has also been sitting in our living room for a while. I'm pretty excited!

Posted by Shelby at 07:00 PM | Comments (3)

November 27, 2007

A Man's Guide To Women's Clothing Sizes

It's the most wonderful time of the year--the time when loved ones set out to buy other loved ones presents. Throughout the years, as I've shopped in malls and spoken to dozens of other women, I've come to realize that there are just some things men don't understand about women's clothing. Therefore, I have written the following guide for men. Feel free to pass it along to the man in your life.

*Always ask your wife or girlfriend what her clothing sizes are. She should be able to give you a letter (S, M, L) and a number (6, 8, 10). I'll explain this in a minute.

* Women's clothing do not follow the same sizing as men's clothing. This is a fundamental fact that will not change.

*Women's clothing usually comes in sizes that are even numbers--2, 4, 6, 8, etc. The number itself has absolutely no meaning, beyond telling you what size the article is.

*Yes, there is a size 0. No, we probably don't wear it.

*The terms "XS, S, M, L, XL, 1XL," etc. are not standardized against the above numbers. Yes, we are aware this makes no sense. No, there is nothing we can do about it. Stop complaining. In general, you may use the following suggestions. Always check a sizing chart if one is available. In the event of conflicting information, choose the size that matches the number you have been given.
-XS = 0-2
-S = 4-6
-M = 8-10
-L = 12-14
-XL = 16 +
This is a guideline. There may be an overlap. Tread carefully.

*If an article is found in the "Juniors" section, put it back. These are for teenagers.

*The "Ladies" section is for average women. The "Womens" section is for larger women. The "Petites" section is for short women.

*Women's pants do not come in varying waist and length measurements. Use the number scale above. Pants are very personal--save your receipt.

*A PhD in mathematics will not help you figure out a bra size. A gift card is your best bet on that one.

*Yes, it is possible to need an XL shirt and XS pants (and vice-versa). If this happens, do not ask the woman "are you sure this is right?" She's sure. Just compliment her ample bosom and go buy what you've been told.

*Bathing suits? Don't bother. It's winter anyway.

*Cut matters. Women are shaped differently and the cut you think of as "flowing" may look like "walrus" when she gets it on. Check her closet. And while you're in there, take a look at the colors she likes too.

*Don't say things like, "I got you the X-Large because when I was looking at the Small I kept thinking, 'there's no way she'll fit into this.'" In fact, if you have misjudged the size, it's best to keep your mouth shut.

*When you're in a store, do not approach a random stranger and say, "You look like my wife's size--would this fit you?" That's creepy.

*When in doubt, a gift card is always lovely.

In summary, dear men, women love it when you've clearly made an effort. Feel free to ask your woman for her proper clothing sizes and be prepared to buy items that don't fit properly and not be offended if they need to be returned. In the end it's the thought that counts.

PS. I can assure you that my own husband is not guilty of these offenses. This is merely a public service announcement for other clueless men.

Posted by Shelby at 01:17 PM | Comments (1)

November 26, 2007

Britney Spears

There is a rumor circulating on the internet that Britney Spears is adopting 6-year-old twins from China. The primary sources of the rumor are from News of the World, a British tabloid newspaper, and Perez Hilton, an internet celebrity gossip site (you can read the article from either link--they're essentially the same). Other blogs and internet sites have quickly picked up on the story, spreading the rumor even further.

I can assure you that this is untrue.

There are essentially two aspects of international adoption: getting the child out of one country and getting them into the US. Britney fails on both accounts.

In order to be able to legally bring a child into the US as a citizen (and it's not like Britney could sneak one in under the radar) you must be granted what's known as an I-171H. Every parent must have one of these to bring a child into the country. Even Angelina Jolie.

To get an I-171H, you must submit a number of documents including, most importantly, a home study. The home study is conducted by a social worker who must, among other things, assess the physical, mental, and emotional capabilities of the prospective adoptive parents to properly parent the orphan. The social worker must approve the parent to adopt an orphan.

The home study is not just an arbitrary approval from a particular social worker. There are a number of other documents required from parents that substantiate the social worker's approval of the parent. These include things like a medical examination, in which Britney's drug and alcohol problems would have to be addressed, and a police clearance indicating that she has, among other things, no record, no arrests, no criminal history, no charges, and no incidents. She would also need to pass a state fingerprint check--the one that determines whether or not she's ever been involved in any child abuse cases (which she has). These are just a couple of the things that would disqualify Britney.

The home study then has to be reviewed by the state and approved by them, so even if she managed to buy off a social worker and the social worker's agency (who has to approve the social worker's recommendation), she'd have to buy off the entire state government of California, which might prove to be tricky for her. However, if the impossible did happen and she was approved by the US Government, she'd still have to be approved by China.

China is extremely strict in their adoption requirements. They pride themselves on being aboveboard and fair. Other celebrities who have adopted from China, including Meg Ryan, had to wait in line just like everyone else. Celebrities aren't given special treatment in China. The across-the-board consistency of the requirements are, in fact, one of the reasons we were drawn to China.

Britney fails just about every single one of China's requirements:

-Applicants must be a legally married couple
-Applicants who have had a divorce must be married to their current spouse for at least 5 years
-Applicants must be 30 years old
-Applicants must be in good physical and mental condition necessary to provide responsible care for an adopted child
-Applicants must have no criminal record or alcohol abuse within the past 10 years. Neither applicant may have committed any acts of domestic violence, sexual abuse or child abuse
-Applicants can have no history of illegal drug use

While it's sadly true that in some circumstances money can buy anything, I can assure you that no amount of money will allow Britney to adopt from China.

Posted by Shelby at 01:58 PM

November 25, 2007


Well I managed to follow up my fabulous anniversary celebration by getting sick. Before we went out to eat last night, my throat was feeling a bit scratchy. I took some Robitussin (which works wonders for me for post-nasal drip) and then took a brief nap. When we got home from dinner my throat was a bit more sore. By the time it was bedtime, it was on fire.

The flames continued this morning and I just felt wiped out, so I stayed home from church and spent most of the day either sleeping or lounging on the couch working on a cross-stitch project I've got going. My beloved husband picked up some soup and crackers for me. My throat is feeling significantly better tonight but my ears are a bit plugged. I don't think I'm doctor-worthy yet, but I'll keep an eye on it. I'm working a closing shift tomorrow night so I'll have more rest time before having to face grubby little children (which is probably where I got this from in the first place).

Posted by Shelby at 04:57 PM | Comments (0)

November 24, 2007

On This Day, 6 Years Ago...

I didn't think it was possible for me to love you any more than I did at this moment.

I was wrong.

Posted by Shelby at 03:14 PM | Comments (4)

November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving from the Hogans

And a Thanksgiving message from the turkey...

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Posted by Shelby at 11:10 AM | Comments (0)

Why 11-Year-Olds Should Have Less Internet Access and More School Time

I just love it when I get comments on old entries. The following is a comment I received on my post from March 28, 2007 about how much I hate Heelys--the shoes with wheels in the heels that allow you to skate. A young lad named Matt had the following to say:

"umm u need to shut up lady come on the guy who invented the heelys is rodger adams .and he is the coolest man evr if i met him i would give him 999999999999999999999$'s becouse heelys rock u dont have to walk just skate im a heely professnol im on the heelys team .. when u try them and get good at them then u will like them lady so shut the f up ok and im 11 and i can kick ur a$$ at a heely contest ......AvA ViCiOUS"

All I can say is that I wish I were Rodger Adams because it would be really cool to get 999999999999999999999$'s.

I think.

Posted by Shelby at 10:52 AM | Comments (1)

November 21, 2007

Your Political Joke for the Day

Recently, while going through an airport during one of his many trips, President Bush encountered a man with long gray hair and beard, wearing a white robe and sandals, holding a staff. President Bush went up to the man and said, "Has anyone told you that you look like Moses?"

The man didn't answer. He just kept staring straight ahead. The president said, "Moses!" in a loud voice. The man just stared ahead, never acknowledging the president.

The president pulled a Secret Service agent aside and, pointing to the robed man, asked him, "Am I crazy or does that man not look like Moses to you The Secret Service agent looked at the man and agreed.

"Well," said the president, "every time I say his name, he ignores me and stares straight ahead, refusing to speak. Watch!" Again the president yelled, "Moses!" and again the man ignored him.

The Secret Service agent went up to the man in the white robe and whispered, "You look just like Moses. Are you Moses?"

The man leaned over and whispered back, "Shhhh! Yes, I am Moses. The last time I talked to a bush, I spent 40 years wandering in the desert and ended up leading my people to the only spot in the entire Middle East with no oil."

Posted by Shelby at 10:01 AM | Comments (1)

November 20, 2007

Moving and Beautiful

This video clip is both moving and beautiful. The dancer has one leg and the ballerina has one arm. It's amazing how they have overcome their disabilities to dance like this.

Posted by Shelby at 11:27 AM | Comments (0)

November 13, 2007

The iron stomach prevails!

I'm glad to report that Digory is as right as rain now. The bread seems to have passed with no issues and he's just as waggy and happy-go-lucky as ever. In fact, he's right back to his old tricks trying to steal more food.

Seriously--you'd think we'd learn this lesson about leaving things accessible but man, it happens over and over and over again. And it's mostly my fault.

Posted by Shelby at 10:29 AM | Comments (0)

November 11, 2007

How I Spent My Morning

Ask me why I didn't go to church today.

Go ahead. Ask me.

Why? Because Digory ate 2/3 of a loaf of French bread, probably in about 3 minutes, and instead of going to church and staying after church for an important meeting, I sat here waiting for him to go poop.

Yes, that's exactly what I wanted to do this morning. Thank you, Digory!

It's my own fault--I know. We had one of those giant loaves of French bread--the kind you get fresh from the grocery store that's as long as a baguette but 6 times the girth--and we ate about 1/3 of it (if that) last night. This morning I tore off a piece of give to Scout with her pill (long story there too) and accidentally didn't roll up the bag all the way. So here's what happened.

I got out of the shower and I heard Digory squeal in his pain squeal. Of course I rushed out and he seemed fine--walking around wagging his tail. I watched him closely to see if he was limping or anything, and then palpated his spine gently (he's never had a back problem but Scout does so that's automatically my first thought). Nothing. Then he tried to stretch out and lay down on his tummy. Squeek! He got up, took a few steps, and tried again. Squeek! So I thought maybe he cut himself (on what???) or something. I started petting his tummy while he was standing and didn't feel anything, but when I reached below his ribs, he whined. I gently pressed on his tummy and he squealed again.

Bingo. He ate something. And a lot of it, too. Great.

I walked out into the kitchen and into the living room and there on the floor is the bread wrappe, torn to shreds. In one of the dog beds, Scout is still lapping up crumbs. For crying out loud! I massaged her tummy and she's fine, but if Digory was true to form (and I feel quite sure he was), he probably inhaled the entire thing within a minute or two.

Digory doesn't exactly savor his food sometimes. Especially if it's stolen and he's trying to keep it away from Scout. His MO is to just gorge himself as quickly as possible.

So now had this dog who couldn't lay down and was looking rather sad and confused. I'm like okay, it's only bread, but it's a lot of it, so I called the emergency vet. The vet said that it could either create a blockage or could cause gas to build up and if he was in pain to bring him in for some x-rays.

X-rays at the emergency vet! Woo hoo! That's going to be CHEAP!!!

So then I was trying to figure out how I'm going to get him into the car, because here's the second problem--Kevin was already at church for an early meeting and he took the car that actually fits the dog. My car is a Miata and the one time I tried driving with Digory it was an absolute disaster. Kevin didn't have his cell phone on him, naturally (we really should make it a habit to carry these things around), so then I'm like well, I can drive all the way to church to get him and we can both miss that important meeting (he's on the church council too), or I can just hang out here and keep an eye on this damned dog, leaving Kevin to wonder where on earth I am.

Then Digory went outside and tried to poop. He was clearly straining but was able to produce something small, so I figured at least something was moving through him--maybe I didn't need to rush him to the emergency vet quite yet. Pressing on his tummy, he was still in pain, but I thought I'd give him an hour or so to see if anything, uh, resolved.

I knew Kevin was probably worried about why I hadn't shown up at church--he knew I was up and out of bed and that I knew I had the council meeting, but I didn't have any way to get ahold of him. I figured I'd call the church when the service was over but didn't want to disturb the service (the phone is in the adjoining room). About 5 minutes before I was going to call him, he called me. He was relieved that nothing untoward had happened to me and that Digory seemed to be okay. He stayed for the meeting and then stopped at the Dog Food Gettin' Place to pick up some wet food for Scout (who has an eye and ear infection and is SOOOO good at taking her pills), then picked up some In-N-Out for me (I love this man!).

When he got back he took over Digory-watching duty and I took a nap. Digory still hasn't hit the jackpot on the lawn but he's not in any distress anymore. He can stretch and lay on his tummy and had no reaction when I squeezed him. In fact, he was right up there with Scout scratching for his dinner tonight. Nice try, dude. I fed Scout and gave him 5 pieces of kibble in his bowl. Now he's as happy as a clam. We'll give him some wet food later but he seems to be perfectly fine.

Posted by Shelby at 05:30 PM | Comments (3)

November 04, 2007

Internet People

If you haven't spent obscene amounts of time on the internet over the last several years, don't bother to watch this video.

If you have spent obscene amounts of time on the internet over the last several years, you've probably already seen this video.

Posted by Shelby at 01:55 PM | Comments (0)